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Destination Anywhere

LIST PRICE $19.99

Perfect for fans of Morgan Matson and Sarah Dessen, this lushly written and heart-wrenching novel follows a teen girl on a one-way trip away from her life and slowly reveals what made her leave it all behind.

Sometimes you have to leave your life behind to find your place in the world…

Peyton King has always wanted to belong. She seizes the opportunity to start over at a new school and finally finds real connections with the friends she’s always dreamed of and even an actual boyfriend!

But after flying high in her newfound happiness, Peyton comes crashing down when reality sets in and the ones she cares about let her down. Peyton’s friends can’t fix her and she can’t help them if they won’t let her. If she wants to find real, lasting happiness, Peyton will have to search somewhere else.

With nothing but her sketchpad and a backpack, she buys a one-way ticket and gets on a plane. How far will she go to change her story?

1. Now NOW THE PLANE
“Boarding complete.”

This is it. I’m out of time. I stare at the send icon on my phone screen, willing myself to press it. My heartbeat—already way faster than usual—thunders harder in anticipation of that one tiny moment, the final step in setting this all in motion.

Despite myself, my thumb swishes downward, my eyes flicking to the start of the email I’ve been drafting since I walked out of my house, got on a bus, went through departures, boarded, found my seat, and buckled up.

Mum and Dad,

Don’t freak out. I know you will anyway, but don’t.

(There’s no point. By the time you read this, I’ll be in the air. You always say how safe flying is, Dad. So you don’t need to worry, because when you read this, I’ll be the safest I’ve ever been.)

I’m doing this because I have to go. I just have to go. I tried to tell you about how I have nothing left and I HAVE TO GO, but you weren’t listening. Now I think you’ll have to, because right now I’m on a plane.

I’m on flight BA037 from Gatwick to Vancouver. You’ll be able to look it up, see? I’m not trying to lie or hide anything. You know exactly where I am. I just had to go, so I’m going. If you’ve been paying any attention, you know why.

I’ll call you when I land.

I love you.

P.S. I’m sorry about using your credit card, Dad.

P.P.S. I’ll pay you back.

The captain is cheerfully talking about our estimated flight time, how sunny it is in Vancouver, how he expects there may be “a few small bumps” over Greenland. He asks for all electronic equipment to be put into flight mode.

I swallow. Steel myself.

Send.

There. It’s done. I put my phone into flight mode and settle back against my seat, watching the terminal slide slowly by as we taxi to the runway. In a few minutes I’ll be airborne. England will drop away underneath me, getting smaller and smaller and farther away, and all my problems and heartaches and regrets and mistakes will shrink along with it. The next time I set foot on this soil—who knows when that will be—I’ll be someone different; someone changed. Not someone new, exactly, but maybe the person I was always meant to be.

We’re on the runway. The engines roar, the plane pushes forward. Beside me, a woman in a green jumpsuit whispers, “Off we go.”

I close my eyes. I finally smile.

Off I go.
Tracy King

Sara Barnard is the author of Fragile Like Us; A Quiet Kind of Thunder; Goodbye, Perfect; and Destination Anywhere. She lives in Brighton, England, with her husband and their grumpy cat. She studied American literature with creative writing at university and never stopped reading YA. She has lived in Canada, interrailed through Europe, and once spent the night in an ice hotel. She thinks sad books are good for the soul and happy books lift the heart. She hopes to write lots of books that do both. 

More books from this author: Sara Barnard